ALL ABOUT BLACK RIVER GOLD SLOT
The Gold series of slots from ELK Studios has seen our hero Kane, a Rich Wilde-style adventurer, journey to several far-away lands in search of all that glitters. Last time we caught up with him he was chasing down the mythical place called Eldorado, deep in some Latin American jungle.
This time he seems to have found himself in an Apalachian-style mountain range, once more looking for treasures in high variance conditions and faced with cascading wins and an expanding reel set up where the paylines can stretch up to a massive 262,144! Yes, regular readers here might remember that unlike many of their rivals who simply signed-up for the Megaways™ license, ELK studios have done things their way and created their own engine. And it’s on display in Black River Gold, a game that high risk slots fans are going to enjoy. The action starts at 4,096 win ways, and expands with every cascade in a win sequence, whilst some clever features involving compasses and revolvers keep the action interesting throughout.
GAME SET-UP, SYMBOLS AND GRAPHICS
So, Black River must be a reference to oil, right? Kane has clearly dumped expectations of finding gold in lost cities in the jungle and is now drilling for oil in the mountains. The spectacular snow-capped peaks form the backdrop to what starts as a 6 reel by 4 row set, framed by the wooden and metal framework of a rig (or is it a bridge?). Well, whatever, as you would expect from ELK the artwork is great.
The gameplay follows the cascading wins format. Symbols drop down and if three or more identical ones land on adjacent reels (regardless of position) from left to right, then that is a win. When this happens, all winning symbols are removed and new ones drop in to replace them AND …. a new row is added to the grid. This is how the expanding reels come into play. Starting at 6×4, the grid can expand to a massive 6×8 if four consecutive cascades occur. That gives you 262,144 paylines in play!
The lower value symbols on the reels are shown by cards Jack through to Ace. Premiums are made up of things Kane needs to keep him happy – a revolver, a whisky glass, a badge and a choker – and some extras – gold nuggets, emeralds and diamonds. The hero himself pays out the most at 3x for five on a payline.
BLACK RIVER GOLD SLOT RTP, VARIANCE AND PAYOUTS
Like others in the series, Black River Gold is a high variance game – all the fun is packed into the features where you can score some pretty high wins, though the max payout of 5,000 is a little modest compared to some other current releases. The RTP is a fairly standard 96.1% so no complaints there either. You can this slot for a spin for as little as $0.20 per play and you might want to set your stake low considering the high volatility.
GAMEPLAY AND FEATURES
What makes this game for us is the features which include some clever base game ones and an enticing bonus round. Here’s how they work:
Big Symbols – These can drive big wins when they land favourably. They land as 2×2, 3×3 and a really MASSIVE 4×4!
Revolver Feature-This is a really cool effect. When a big symbol lands with a gap underneath it, it will transform into a revolver cylinder, with each chamber filled with symbols from the rows beneath. If it fills completely, then it turns into a giant wild!
Compass Feature – When the compass lands, whichever way it’s needles point will turn all symbols in those directions into wilds (left or right, or top to bottom). When the compass lands on the bottom row of the grid it turns into a wild itself too.
Free Spins – The star of the show is the free spins round, unlocked by landing three or more scatters anywhere on the reels. That gives you anywhere between 10 and 25 free spins (or drops). The enhancement that comes into play here means that the rows grow with cascading win in a sequence, but this time they don’t reset when that sequence ends. That means more chances of playing with a fully or partially expanded reel set.
During the bonus round wilds landing on the bottom row are also sticky until they trigger a win, and further free spins are attainable by landing more scatters.
If you liked the other games in Kane’s Gold series then you’ll love this one. It’s pretty similar in format to titles like Eldorado Gold, with the addition of those very cool Revolver and Compasses. Your win potential in the game is enough to make things interesting. Those who get close to the 5,000x will do so in the bonus round with fully expanded reels and some lucky wild action. This is entertaining stuff indeed and a great test for high risk slots pros. If you’re new to the game though, then tread carefully here as Black Gold looks like it will be a frustrating tease at times too!